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Medieval Music Database

Chi 'l ben sofrir non p=

Two-voice ballata by Niccolò da Perugia


Florence: Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Ashburnham 574, fol. 19v (text); Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Palatino 87 (Squarcialupi Codex), fol. 89-88v (2/2); Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Rediano 184, fol. 132v (text);
London: British Library, Additional 29987, fol. 39 (2/1);
Rome: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Chigiano L.VIII.300, p. . 57 (text).


1. The Works of Francesco Landini, edited by Leonard Ellinwood, Cambridge/Massachusetts: The Mediaeval Academy of America, 1939, plate V (Lbl29987).
2. The Manuscript London, British Museum Add. 29987, facsimile edition by Gilbert Reaney, [n.p.]: American Institute of Musicology, 1965. Musicological Studies and Documents 13, (Lo).
3. Il Codice Squarcialupi edited by F. Alberto GALLO, Lucca: Libreria Musicale Italiana, 1992.


1. LI GOTTI, Ettore and Nino PIRROTTA. Il Sacchetti e la tecnica musicale del Trecento italiano, Florence: Sansoni, 1935.
2. Der Squarcialupi-Codex Pal. 87 der Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana zu Florenz, edited by Johannes Wolf and H. Albrecht, Lippstadt: Kistner and Siegel, 1955, p. 138.
3. Italian Secular Music: Anonymous Madrigals and Cacce and the Works of Niccolò da Perugia, edited by W. Thomas Marrocco, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1972. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century VIII, p. 106.
4. KELLY, Stephen K. The Works of Niccolò da Perugia, 2 vols., Ph.D. dissertation, The Ohio State University, 1974.
5. GOZZI, Marco. [London, British Library 29987: Transcription and Commentary], 2 vols., dissertation, Cremona, Scuola di paleografica musicale, University of Pavia: 1984-1985.
6. GARFORTH, Constance C. The Lo Manuscript: A Trecento Collection, Ph.D. dissertation, Northwestern University: 1983.

Text Editions

1. Cantilene e ballate, strambotti e madrigale nei secoli XIII e XIV, edited by Giosuè Carducci, Pisa: Nistri, 1871, p. 238.
2. Sacchetti, Franco. Il libro delle rime, edited by A. Chiari, Bari: Laterza, 1936, p. 111.


1. Cantilene e ballate, strambotti e madrigale nei secoli XIII e XIV, edited by Giosuè Carducci, Pisa: Nistri, 1871.
2. GALLO, F. Alberto. 'The musical and literary tradition of 14th century poetry set to music', Musik und Text in der Mehrstimmigkeit des 14. und 15. Jahrhunderts, edited by U. Günther and L. Finscher, Kassel: Bärenreiter: 1984, pp. 55-76.


Chi 'l ben sofrir non p=
se trova 'l mal, ragion F che 'l sia so.
Pensar de' ciaschedun ch'al mondo sta
che pu= venir quel ch'F e che gia fu.
e non seguir quel che sua voglia da.
se quella non misura con virt·.

Che l'uom che cade gi·
per ignoranza mal si scusa po'.
S'alcun per suo mal far dal ben partT.
non si dolga d'altrui se non di sT;
che spesse volte tal lamentasi
della fortuna, e esso il mal si fT.

Faccia l'uom ci= ch'el de'.
chT le pi· volte se ne vede pro'.


Whoever can't stand goodness.
should he find badness it needs must be his own.
Each one of us in this world must consider
that what has been and is may still come true
but what one wants may never come to pass
unless one squares one's wishes with what's right.

A fallen man can hardly find excuses
by blaming ignorance for his downfall.
If through bad deeds he strayed away from virtue
he should not blame anyone but himself;
and often he complains about ill luck
who was the author of his own mishaps.

If one does what one must.
it will most times turn to one's own advantage.

Text revision and translation © Giovanni Carsaniga

Content Approved by: MMDB Director
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2003

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